View Full Version : Anyone have one of these...?
Bought something on eBay a few days ago from pure boredom and wanting something new to play with - that and because it looked really, really...weird.
Which is a quality not to be taken too lightly.
Basically this is a waistlevel finder that fits into the accessory shoe on the camera.
It looks cool, it's unusual and it's big as a barn door. What's not to love about it?
Has anyone ever used anything like this and if so what's your impressions?
I must admit - and this is how vain I am - if I do like it I will have it painted black to fit my III (F) better. Pathetic? You bet :)
(Photos below courtesy of camera$$, ebay):
Almost a Rolleiflex...
I converted my broken down Kontur-finder into a waist-level finder. I put a polished stainless steel mirror at 45 degrees pointing upwards and drilled a hole in the top. Then a not-used 25mm UV filter glued to seal off.
Works fine except the mirror left to right.
But this flexameter also is a distance meter? With a ground glass?
There's a little read about the Flexmeter here: http://www.cameraquest.com/kuhn.htm
Interesting little unit there. So you focus the Flexameter then set the camera...? Hmmm, you did good, Rich. Quite unique. And it has feet & metric scale?
To quote Leica FAQ:
"Made in the 1930s, these things have a built-in 50mm lens which you focus onto a built-in ground-glass screen - and then transfer the distance setting (by hand) to the camera taking lens. Unlike the Zeiss or Leica WL finders however, Flexameters can only be used in landscape format, and because they lack the optical correction prism, show a view which is laterally (L-R) reversed. "
So we can turn a leica into a TLR, how we need a device to make one a SLR : ).
I don't have a Flexameter, but do have an older (I think) DeMornay-Budd reflex VF. The DeMornay-Budd has the advantage of being able to couple (sort of) w/an 5cm Elmar so you can focus w/the unit. Unfortunately, the glass in mine is so cloudy that it's barely useable & even if it were cleaned, I don't have a 5cm Elmar to see if the focus mechanism really works. Wish I had the Contax RF version . . .
It's interesting the things that come along we didn't know about before.
The one thing I question is why someone would want to convert a Leica to waist-level. Unless it's to be used as a low-angle or close-to-the-ground beast.
The original trapezoidal Exaktas (VX, etc.) commonly had waist-level finders, although there was also an eye-level one. I have three of them I've bought for nostalgia's sake, and for a 35mm camera, those waist-level finders are a little hard to get used to. Only one of mine came with the prism finder.
The reversed left to right is the nature of the beast, as it also is with twin-lens reflexes.
I bought an Exacta some years ago to see if it made life easier for me after I was required to wear trifocals. Later picked up an Exa. I found that the waist level finder worked fine at Christmas time when I wanted to be inconspicuous shooting family groups with flash. I have both types of finders, and have swapped them out many times. My conclusion was that the waist level worked best indoors, and the eye level worked best outdoors in sunlight.
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